Game Rant Minute: Are Conventions Important?

Published 3 years ago by

Game Rant Minute are conventions important, comic con, sdcc

Welcome to Game Rant Minute — a series of short videos covering one hot topic in games. Each video lasts just about one minute, so you can get in, get out and get back to reading more in-depth coverage here on the site or back to playing your games. Of course each Game Rant Minute video is accompanied by some helpful text where you can get more details on the topic covered in the Minute.

San Diego Comic-Con is here, and here in a big way. Comics, movies, video games, and everything pop culture is part of the event known as Comic-Con. But with a few of the big announcements and trailers getting leaked on the internet before they were shown at the convention, and with demos available through services like Xbox Live and PSN, it raises the question of just how important conventions and trade shows really are.

Are these big conventions still needed in a day and age when Oscar-nominated films are often sent to screeners and Oscar voters in a digital format that can be viewed on a phone, tablet, or computer, and full games can be downloaded online? Some might argue that the controlled convention environment lets studios keep things from getting leaked or shown early. And while that might be the case sometimes, it is not guaranteed. Just because the studio brings an actual disc with footage on it doesn’t mean that footage wasn’t digital at some point, and it doesn’t mean that it won’t get leaked early either. Recent examples include both the Amazing Spider-Man trailer and the Avengers trailer.

OK, OK, games are different. Some might argue that the conventions allow developers to guide a player through an experience and help with questions. While that can certainly be nice sometimes, it likely is not needed. Game demos could easily be provided online and a walkthrough could be included, too — or perhaps a video chat could be used to guide a player through a demo. Yes, there is some piracy risk, but there are numerous ways that risk could be lessened by using some form of technology already available. And if a game is available to be played publicly as a demo at an event like Comic Con, why not just make it a public demo for everyone to enjoy?

Now don’t get the wrong idea, I am not arguing that events like Comic Con aren’t fun. I am merely questioning how important they are today versus even 5 or 10 years ago. It seems like things like live streams and time-released demos could provide even more fans with the content they want, and allow them to consume it in a comfortable fashion without waiting in long lines. It does not seem like Comic Con or E3 or any of the other big conventions or trade shows are going anywhere anytime soon, however. The demand is certainly there, and these shows will likely continue to grow and grow.

Did you attend E3 or are you are at Comic-Con? What do you think of these events? Would like to see more coverage and demos provided to fans at home? What do you think could be done to make events like Comic-Con even better for the fans? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

TAGS: E3 2011, Game Rant Minute, SDCC 2011

  • Andrew Dyce

    I couldn’t agree more with a lot of your points, especially with the average movie nerd knowing more about a film’s production than some of the reporters on hand to hear about some films. That’s not a crack at movie bloggers, but lots of conventions (especially Comic Con) used to be a place for very niche genres and projects to speak to the relatively smaller audiences who were extremely passionate about their work.

    I still think it’s great to get all the ‘geeks’ in one place to be able to talk to and hear their idols speak in person, but in a digital age, it seems that most of the information given is just easier to find online than in a presser.

    I could go on for hours, so I’m impressed you kept it to a minute!

  • John Polson

    I think they are much less important to journalists these days. An event such as E3 is at the top of my worthless list all around. To wait to announce your game’s information on the same day or week as EVERYONE else seems like a waste of the other 51 weeks, not to mention the moment in the spotlight is going to last even shorter during E3.

    GDC = great for developers to actually learn from each other, catch up, and even recruit or scout new talent.

    PAX and Comic-Con are great for consumers but pretty chaotic for press. Having the press during these events seems a bit intrusive at events that aim to connect fans with their objects of desire.

    So are these events ever important for journalists? Maybe the ones that don’t get to meet the public relations people that act as the gatekeepers for the vast majority of the industry. Then again, if your only chance at mingling with these people is once a year, as a journalist, you’re probably not that relevant since you’re not getting many exclusives or in-office previews compared to those who live nearby.

    Welcome to the jungle, over saturated gaming journalism industry!

    • John Polson

      I didn’t hear the call of the question: Make all of these better? Bigger venues, I suppose. If you are a developer/publisher and want more than diehard fans’ input, make demos more widely available and avoid this circus altogether.